– By Khahlil Louisy
Naznin Khimji, Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Mahmood Khimji
On Wednesday night, two foundations, both doing incredible work to improve the lives of people around the world, hosted galas to both celebrate the work that they’re doing and to raise funds to help continue their missions. The Aga Khan Foundation, an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network held it’s party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and raised $2.5 million. The Seeds of Africa Foundation partied at Canoe Studios on the Hudson River, housed within the historic Starrett Lehigh building in West Chelsea.
It was only two weeks ago that His Highness the Aga Khan was presented with two major awards: the Champion for Global Change Award from the United Nations and the Asia Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award – the Society’s most esteemed. The Gala honored the Aga Khan Foundation’s 50 years of innovative programs aimed at improving quality of life, by partnering with communities, nonprofits, businesses, governments, and local leaders to make long-term investments, build permanent institutions and cultivate an active civil society.
In attendance were Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Aleem Walji, CEO of the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A., Tony winner and Hamilton star Renee Elise Goldsbury, who performed a special musical number, and a bevy of special guests including: Mahmood Khimji, Matthew Moneypenny, Cece Coffin, and Dianne Whitty among others. This year’s gala was co-chaired by Naznin Khimji and Karim Rehmat, and MSNBC anchor and business correspondent for NBC News, Ali Velshi served as master of ceremonies for the evening.
Images – Sean Zanni/PMC ©Patrick McMullan
Over in Chelsea, the well-heeled crowd attended the Seeds of Africa Foundation’s gala en masse, including Pauline Ducruet, daughter of Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, Public School’s designer Maxwell Osborne, designer Batsheva Hay, and models Ginta Lapina, Nicole Pollard, Sarah Pauley, Aamito Lagum, Alina Baikova, Ryan Winter, and Dane Johnson. Sarah Simmons co-chaired the event with the foundation’s Founder, Atti Worku, a former Miss Ethiopia. Other guests in attendance included Kassahum Kebede, Kimmy Hyunh, and Pajton Dauer among other
Seeds of Africa’s mission is to educate and nurture children and their families through education and community development programs and was founded in 2008.
The foundation operates two major programs: Seeding Education and Sowing Community. Seeding Education offers high-quality education to students, in addition to school meals, uniforms, school supplies and medical support. Sowing Community works with families to increase their household incomes and improve their quality of life through health education seminars, adult literacy and entrepreneurship courses, and access to credit.